A meteor shower blinds everyone who looks at it! Not too wimpy as far as end of the world scenarios go, what with all those stubbed toes and barked shins. But to give you a little more bang for your meteor-apocalypse dollar, the meteor shower also created tall, ugly, lurching plants called Triffids that walk around sniffing out finger-licking good blind humans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Hasn’t this vindictive vegetation ever heard of the Americans With Disabilities Acts?
Bill is a sailor who luckily enough suffered an eye injury which required that his eyes be all gauzed-up during the meteor shower. After waking up in the hospital and finding no one but his blind eye doctor, he heads out onto the streets of London. There he finds wrecked cars and blind people wandering about.
He also finds a little girl who isn’t blind and saves her from some blind slug who tries to snatch her to be his eyes. They leave together and start to make their way across London to his ship. (Apparently Bill thinks that even though the world has ended, he still needs to make it back before his three day pass is up!)
Along the way, stuff blows up, airplanes crash, and these weird looking plants kill a dog. Nothing’s happening at the boat, so he decides they should go to France because of something they heard on the radio about a meeting over there. He and the little kid hop in a row boat and he starts rowing all the way to France.
Meanwhile, in an apparently completely different movie we have married scientists studying marine life at a lighthouse. Tom is a crabby guy who complains that he thinks studying stingrays is boring and drinks a bunch a scotch, while Karen is the nagging wife who thinks that Tom shouldn’t be drinking so much, even though she is obviously the reason why he’s drinking.
They listen on the radio and hear that things kind of suck out in the world so Tom gets it in his fool head that his next big project is to find a way to beat the killer plants.
Every so often throughout the rest of the movie we check in with these two and find that Tom is just as successful at finding a way to stop the Triffids as he was in finding a wife that understands his intake of scotch is strictly for “medicinal purposes.” Also, his wife gets terrorized by the plants whenever there is a lull in the research.
Bill meanwhile has made it to France and found a house where a couple of people who can see are housing a bunch of blind women. Bill meets one of the women who can still see and convinces her to go to Spain with him and his little friend. (For the record, his convincing involves him rescuing her from a bunch of convicts who have taken over the house and made all the blind girls their dance partners during a very rowdy party.)
Back on the other side of Triffid County, Tom and Karen are burning the midnight oil trying to find a way to beat back the menacing plants, and accidentally find a way when Tom turns a fire house on them that’s connected to sea water.
Salt water destroys Triffids! We have lots of that! We’re saved! All we have to do is build our cities in the oceans now!
Then the movie just kind of ends and we’re just left to surmise that every thing turned out okay with a bunch of blind people trying to silently spray millions of killer plants with salt water.
The whole thing is pretty choppy and the dual story lines don’t really work together, since Tom and Karen were rarely seen. As to the main part of the film, Bill’s journey isn’t particularly arduous or interesting. He just gets in a car and goes whenever he needs to. The movie looked cheap and the Triffids appeared more goofy than threatening.
A completely botched effort that is best forgotten about. In 1981 the BBC did a miniseries based on the novel and that’s a much better and more faithful adaptation than this poorly structured and underfunded ho-hum invading-monster flick.
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